“Cozonac” with cocoa & seeds cocktail

This is Mom’s recipe for Cozonaci. And I love it. 🙂
With walnut, Turkish delight, cocoa, plum, “Cozonac” is a sweet bread, with 2 main components: the dough and the filling. If you screw any of the 2, the recipe won’t be a great one – and you want to nail it, right?

  • Prep Time 2:0 hours
  • Cook Time 45 min
  • Score 9/10

Cozonac, a dessert that can be found on the Romanians tables twice per year: on Easter Holiday and on Christmas Holiday. Some found it very familiar because they think about Panetonne” when seeing it, which is a sweet bread (as well as Cozonacis) stuffed most of the times with Turkish delight – it’s prepped and eaten mostly in Italy, for Christmas and New Year as well. But, let’s go back to our Cozonac.


  • (ingredients for one piece): 1 kg flour
  • 650 ml milk
  • 200-300 gr sugar
  • 2 eggs + 2 yolks
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • lemon (you peel it and use the "skin" only
  • 200 ml oil
  • 40 gr yeast
  • 125 gr walnut
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • “cocktail” seeds (sesame, poppy, pumpkin etc)

Kitchen tools:

  • Rolling pin
  • basin
  • small pot
  • Cup for prepping a part of the filling
  • whisk
  • small bowls

How I did it:

Step 1

The first dough
In a pot you add 150 milk (warmed up) + 40 gr yeast, the 2 ingredients must get homogenized and afterwards 2 tablespoons of flour are added into the pot. Again, you mix the ingredients and you must leave it to rest and rise for 15-20 minutes. In order to have a fluffy and correct “first dought”, you must make it warm so cover the pan with some towels. pasul 1

Step 2

The main dough
20 minutes after, once the first dough raised enough, we start prepping the main dough. In a basin or a larger bowl – since I’ve made more than one piece of this dessert, I used the basin – the flour must be added (not to take into account the flour needed for the filling), you drop it into the basin and now, you must add the first dough. I’ve made a circle into the flour, an empty circle in which we added the first dough. Then, mix with: | The beaten eggs – you beat the eggs (the 2 yolks and the 2 entire eggs, for 1 piece of “cozonac”), then you add the aromas: vanilla, rum, lemon, orange, any others you like. | The warm milk (500ml) + sugar: you add the sugar in the milk and let it melts, then you add the milk on top of the beaten eggs | Lemon pasul 2

Step 3

Churn the dough
You mix and churn all the ingredients until all get well homogenized. You go on with the churn and add one a time the warm oil (200 ml) until the dough and oil homogenized well and if the dough doesn’t get stuck to the basin’s edge, then you know for sure that the dough it correct. You leave the dough to rest and rise as long as it is needed and as long as you observe (you need to check the dough from time to time). Usually, for 1 kg of flour the dough must be left 1 hour to rest and rise. pasul 3

Step 4

The filling
Now, the dough is ready to rise. Until then, you can prepare the filling. I chose a filling with cocoa powder, seeds and walnut. First, you beat the glair. Separately, in a different small pot you prepare the milk ( table spoons) + 5 table spoons of sugar – you heat it until the sugar melts. And you leave it to rest. If this composition has the room temperature, the filling resulted will be more creamy and homogenized. Then, you add one by one, the following ingredients: Seeds cocktail + aromas (vanilla, rum, orange etc) + sugar / vanilla sugar + cacao powder (2 table spoons) + cinnamon + the beaten glair. pasul 4

Step 5

Prep some “cozonaci”
You clean the table and add flour on it, so that when you stretch the dough it doesn’t stick on the table like glue. Then, you split the dough so that you get as many “cozonaci” as you want. And start stretching the dough with the rolling pin – careful not to make holes or small air bags in the dough will stretching it – you add the walnuts and the cacao filling on the piece of dough. You can also add Turkish delight or raisins if you like. Once you are ready with adding the filling, you start rolling the dough, you carefully grab both edges and you twining it. pasul 5

Step 6

Bake some “cozonaci”
You start prepping the baking tray – you can add baking paper or you can grease the tray with butter/oil so that the dough won’t get stuck to the tray. Once you add the “cozonac” into the tray, you grease the top of it with egg yolk for a more shiny crust and also because of the egg yolk you can add seeds on top - it will get stuck to the top crust. You put it into the oven, in a small heat, for 40 – minutes. In the first 20-25 minutes of baking, the oven must not be opened at all. You can check it half an hour after, using a toothpick (or the longer one, used for making skewers) . If, when you get he toothpick out of the “cozonac”, the dough Is stuck to it then it means it’s not ready yet. So, you leave it in the oven a bit more – you want it to be well cooked inside. Of course, the smell, the color, the texture are other signs to consider that tell you if it has been cooked or not. pasul 6

cozonaci_homemadeThis post is also available in: Romanian

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